CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The University of Wyoming says releasing the names of finalists for UW president would harm its search.

The state's only four-year public university filed a response Thursday to a lawsuit filed by media companies seeking public disclosure of the finalists.

UW says releasing the names could reduce the pool of potential candidates because some may not want to be identified and could withdraw from consideration. As a result, the university contends all records identifying the candidates should be off limits to the public.

The Casper Star-Tribune, Wyoming Tribune Eagle and The Associated Press filed the lawsuit in state District Court in Laramie.

UW President Tom Buchanan is retiring next year.

The UW Board of Trustees hopes to name a new president in February.